It isn’t every day 2,313 fans forego a sunny afternoon to watch women’s basketball at the BankUnited Center, so the 16th-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes were especially motivated to impress the crowd with a win over No. 14 Florida State.
But the Canes went cold early in the second half, missed easy layups, wound up with 21 turnovers, and the Seminoles headed back to Tallahassee with a 69-58 victory.
It was the eighth FSU win over UM in their past nine meetings, and their fourth straight on the Miami home court. Leticia Romero led the Seminoles with a career-high 19 points, along with six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Shakayla Thomas added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Adrienne Motley scored 20 for the Hurricanes, and Keyona Hayes had 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals.
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“Wow, what a basketball game,” said FSU coach Sue Semrau. “We came in expecting an extremely tough, hard-fought game. Miami beat us on the boards, and the toughness, grit and fight in both teams showed what a great rivalry it is, what a great job both programs have done to move into a position of national prominence.”
The Canes (17-3, 5-2 ACC) felt they weren’t tough enough.
“Key and Mot were tough, but together, we weren’t tough when game was on the line,” said UM coach Katie Meier. “That’s my job, to take all the parts and make them one great whole. And they splintered us. That’ll give me a lot to do in the next couple of days.’’
Motley added: “Live-ball turnovers killed us at the end. That’s what’s on my mind now, the points we gave them. That’s frustrating.”
The game was tied 31-31 at halftime, and the teams were even all over the box score. UM shot 11-of-25, FSU was 11-of-26. Miami had 17 rebounds, Florida State had 16. Both teams had 14 points in the paint. The Canes’ biggest lead was five points, the Noles’ six.
But the Noles (16-4, 6-1 ACC) went on a 9-2 run to open the second half (seven of the points from Adut Bulgak) and opened up a seven-point lead. Miami then scored eight of the next 10 points to close to within one, but Romero and Thomas took control of the game.
Motley hit a three with 2:25 left in the game to shrink FSU’s lead to 60-55. Brittany Brown answered with a three to quiet the crowd and Romero made a layup to make it 65-55.